Got questions? We have answers.

Piqued your interest, did we? Let’s try to address some of the many questions that might be popping up right about now.

  • Just what is Formula Ford anyway?

Formula Ford is the name for a specific type of racing car. Formula Fords are purpose-built, single seaters with a reputation as a great training ground for career-minded drivers. Yet Formula Fords are an enjoyable and highly competitive race car for all participant levels, whether racing professionally or just having motorsport fun on weekends. 

Formula Ford has a reputation for being one of the most economical of all road racing classes. All the cars are powered by the same low cost and dependable Ford Kent 1.6l or Honda Fit 1.5l four-cylinder engines. Only limited modifications are allowed to the engine and wings or other aerodynamic modifications are not permitted.

  • How fast do they go?

The top speed that a Formula Ford will reach depends on the layout of the race track and particularly on the length of straightaway. With the appropriate gearing, a Formula Ford can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6 seconds and can reach speeds in excess of 130 mph (210 kmh).

  • How do I get started racing Formula Ford in British Columbia?

First, you’ll need to get a racing license. Click here for details. Second, or may first-first, you’ll need to get a car. Formula Fords are regularly available throughout the province, although you might have to do a little digging. The best way to find local cars is through the SCCBC Forum or by contacting local drivers or the administrators of this website. Other sources include ApexSpeed.com, Racing.ca or BringATrailer.com.

  • How do I haul a Formula Ford to and from race events?

Obviously, a Formula Ford is not street legal so you can’t just drive it to the race track! You’ll need access to a trailer of some sort and a tow vehicle that can pull it safely. Formula Fords are light (less than 1000 lb. empty) and can easily be moved around by a single person. A small, open, single vehicle trailer is a good starting point and you will probably be able to share, borrow or rent one just to get started. As always, if you aren’t completely sure, the best advice is to check with an experienced racer before buying a trailer.

  • How much does it cost to buy and run a Formula Ford?

Let’s get one thing out of the way. Racing is not cheap. But if racing is in your blood and you know you have that need for speed, the Formula Ford class is the best bang for the buck in motorsport racing, which explains its continuing popularity, even after a solid 40 years in existence. Formula Ford cars are relatively abundant and can be purchased anywhere from a few thousand dollars to more than $40,000. Their very basic design and open wheel concept makes the cars simple to fix and easy to work on, without compromising performance.

Most racers in our neck of the woods race cars used in what’s known as the Club Ford class, whose prices range roughly from $7,000 to $18,000, depending on condition. These cars are pre-1981 vintage with outboard shocks and are constructed with mild steel tubing. Post-1981 cars use inboard suspension with struts constructed with more expensive aircraft grade tubing. Damaging a Club Ford class car means a far less expensive repair job, but you may sacrifice a wee bit in your top speed due to the slightly reduced aerodynamics of the suspension.

Club vs Modern Ford

In our area, by gentlemen’s agreement, we use pump gas (Chevron 94). The class is required to run spec American Racer tires which are a harder compound and cost around $900 per set and can last a full season without falling off significantly. Many of our Formula Ford race drivers spend around $2000 per season (excluding entry fees) on car operating costs, which is incredibly low in this sport where some classes will spend that in a single day at the track.

  • How do Formula Fords compare to other race classes?

 “I wrote years ago that I thought Formula Ford racing in its heyday, was possibly the best racing there ever was.  I would say – dollar for dollar – that remains true today.”

Peter Egan, Road & Track

Those of us who race Formula Fords know there really is no other class in the price range with the driving feel characteristic of pre-electronics Formula One days. With its high-revving engine and an easily reconfigured gearbox that allows the perfect set of ratios for any track, Formula Fords give the driver the feel of true race car, something that is not easily found in other race classes, particularly sedan racing.

Formula Ford is designed to keep costs down and fun up. The great Peter Egan acknowledges the outstanding cost-to-thrill ratio in this Road and Track magazine article. Similar praise for racing a Formula Ford can be found in this Racer.com article.

  • What’s it like racing a Formula Ford?

You can get an idea of what it’s like to compete in a Formula Ford race by viewing one of the thousands of outstanding Formula Ford races posted on the Internet, but here’s a recent Historic Ford race on short circuit at Silverstone in England that is representative of the competitive nature of the class and demonstrates the sheer fun of racing a Formula Ford.

Well, that’s the tip of the iceberg. If you would like more information about Formula Ford in BC, we’d love to hear from you.